What You Need for Successful Winter Hunting

Every hunter knows that winter is the toughest season to overcome while hunting. Well, this is no mystery at all, since most perils come with the onset of the cold months. Man is simply not made to withstand the cold temperatures on his own, but thanks to many innovations and inventions, there is an abundance of gear today that help hunters succeed with winter hunting trips. Thus, in this article, I’m going to tell you what you need for successful winter hunting.


What You Need for Successful Winter Hunting

Hunting clothing

What You Need for Successful Winter Hunting

Make sure you keep warm like this hunter right here - Photo credit: http://www.northernontario.travel/

First and foremost, you need to secure enough sets of clothes that can help you withstand the low temperature. A good coat is simply not enough. You need to dress accordingly from head to toe if you want to survive in the harsh winter. Moreover, you need to dress warm enough just in case the weather turns for the worse.

Before you go out on your winter hunt, make sure that you pack sufficient amount of clothes. Moreover, you should include all of these in order to ensure that you are set for the cold temperatures:

  • Insulated coat or parka with thick and durable material
  • Gloves
  • Snow pants
  • Thick socks and undergarments
  • High-visibility vest
  • Warm head gear
  • Scarf or ski mask for face protection
  • Snow glasses

All of these are important and it is imperative that you make sure that these clothes are warm enough. Insulation is key to fend off the cold, so if you’re going to choose the products for your trip, better make it insulated.

Another important thing to bring are the best hunting boots for winter hunting. If you’re going to hunt in sub-zero temperatures, then you need a pair of boots that will help your feet stay warm.

Remember that your feet are farthest from your heart, which pumps warm blood throughout the system. Thus, they are more prone to frostbite—but a good pair of insulated and waterproof hunting boots should do the trick.

Fire starting kit

What You Need for Successful Winter Hunting

Learn how to make a fire by yourself with the proper tools - Photo credit: https://i.ytimg.com

When you’re out in the open cold, you’re going to need a heat source to stay alive. Many bushcraft enthusiasts and hunters know that a fire-starting kit is one of the most essential equipment to have in your pack. Other than that, you need to know how to use them.

Here are some items that you may bring that will help you start a fire:

  • Storm proof matches
  • Lighter
  • Fuel
  • Candles
  • Magnesium blocks

On the other hand, you can purchase readily available fire-starting kits that contain almost all of the equipment you need to start a fire. Heat source is most important when out hunting in the winter. Thus, you should put a lot of effort in securing your fire-starting materials before you go out on your trip.

Moreover, it’s a good thing if you practice using the equipment before you go out to hunt as well. It’s no use bringing them if you don’t know how to use them, right? Plus, it’s quite a hassle to bring an instruction sheet with you on the hunt.


What You Need for Successful Winter Hunting

Shelter is important in battling the cold - Photo credit: http://iris.backcountry.com

The wind combined with the low temperature will kill you if you don’t find shelter soon. Combined with a reliable heat source, shelter will make sure that you are at a safe body temperature while you’re out on a winter hunt.

A tent is the most common choice because it can keep the wind out. I recommend choosing one that’s easy to set up and easy to disassemble as well. Moreover, there are some tents that are insulated so I suggest you get this type of tent as well.

Other than a tent, it would also be good if you can bring a warm sleeping bag and blanket with you. Not only will this make the trip more comfortable, but it will shield you from the cold temperature as well.

Communication and navigation tools

What You Need for Successful Winter Hunting

Bring something that can get you connected to help in case of an emergency - Photo credit: http://hikingmastery.com

Communication and navigation tools cannot be absent from the best hunting backpack because, well, given that it’s the best, it should contain all of the essentials you need to survive. Getting stuck in a blizzard isn’t the worst case scenario yet—what if you get injured while hunting alone? Or what if you find someone that is and you cannot move them to safety?

Therefore, you should always keep these tools in your bag and not only for winter hunts:

  • Reliable GPS with extra batteries
  • Map of the area
  • Binoculars
  • Compass
  • Communication device (e.g. radio or satellite phone)
  • Signaling device (e.g. flare, signaling mirror, whistle)
  • Selfie sticks - check more at Winterninja.com

These items will help ensure your survival if ever the worst happens. Remember: getting stuck in a snow storm can have a better chance of killing you than a wild animal will.

Food and Water

What You Need for Successful Winter Hunting

Bring enough food to last you the whole trip - Photo credit: http://cdn.grindtv.com

As you increase your experience with hunting, then you should improve your skill of estimating the amount of food you need for a given number of hunting days. It’s thoroughly important that you ensure you have enough food to last you the whole hunting trip.

However, the difference with winter hunting trips is that in the cold, the body uses more energy in order to generate more heat. And more so to circulate that heat around the body. Thus, you need to replenish that used up energy if you want to stay on top of your game.

I suggest that you bring high-caloric foods with you. Ready-to-eat food is great, and those that you can reconstitute with water is the best. Moreover, you need to bring energy-dense snacks with you to keep up your energy level and avoid hypoglycemia.

On the other hand, water is a basic necessity and you wouldn’t survive without it. Bring enough clean water with you on a day trip. For a longer trip, you can melt snow through boiling and use purification tablets to make sure it’s clean.

Essential accessories

What You Need for Successful Winter Hunting

Don’t forget the other essentials you need - Photo credit: pinimg.com

As you may read from other hunting essentials articles, there are many other accessories that are important to your trip. Here are most of them:

  • Flashlight
  • Rope
  • Hunting knife
  • Cutlery, bowl or plate
  • Canteen
  • First-aid kit, personal medicines
  • Weapons and ammo
  • Tarp


The most essential winter hunting items are listed in this article. Take note that these are the most important items you need to bring with you on your trip, as these will help you withstand the extreme cold and trials of the winter season. But if you’re a beginner, I suggest you hunting with a group on your first winter hunting trip. I cannot stress this enough; winter hunting poses many dangers to the hunter himself.

Nevertheless, I find winter hunting rewarding and I’m sure you will, too. It just makes a difference to be prepared, especially if you find yourself in a quite undesirable situation. Thus, I hoped you learned a lot from this article and take my tips with you on your next trip.

If you liked this article on what you need for successful winter hunting, share this with your friends so they’ll know what to bring as well. If you have any questions, you are free to leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Sheldon Martin

Sheldon Martin is the founder of Captain Hunter. CaptainHunter.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment, and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously. Never think that you are alone in the woods again. Our goal is to share what we know with who needs it most.

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